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“Moving is stressful yet interesting”

Used to freelance in Moscow: mostly as a 3D interior design artist. Made artifact scans for the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Then became an active user of the Substance Designer software. Used it to make tools, frequented the Discord chat of Allegorithmic, the developer of Substance Designer. That’s when I decided to become a tech artist on some project, because designing tools solo is not particularly interesting. Vizor Games proposed such a project.

Check out open positions at Vizor Games Group 9 Created with Sketch.

I was a volunteer at the DevGAMM gaming conference in Moscow. Met a representative of Vizor Games there, filled out their questionnaire, did an interview for the Tech Artist position. I must say I was quite satisfied with everything about my freelancing. But I saw a project at that conference that interested me. It’s a computer game that Vizor is currently working on, a third-person MMO fighting game. I made good money freelancing; working for a company, however, gave me financial stability.

The only thing I knew about Belarus was that World of Tanks was from here. There was this 3D chat a long time ago, Active Worlds; met a lot of folks from Belarus there. Having gotten a job offer from Vizor, I came to Minsk with my girlfriend for a day. Wanted to look around. We liked what we saw. A hipster hangout spot in Oktyabrskaya Street, Minsk Beltway—all’s the same as in Moscow, except the city is smaller. Essentially, it’s not so important which city to live in for a person who often stays home at the computer. The internet in Belarus is only a little slower and a bit more expensive than in Moscow.

“Telegram hasn’t been banned here yet”

Tech artist’s job description at Vizor Games is rather broad: adjusting the in-game lighting, helping artists with technical aspects, assets development and storage—and much more. I’m even gonna teach a course soon, game development on the Unreal Engine.

But moving is always stressful. Me and my girlfriend paused to think for a while about changing the city. Eventually, we decided that moving is an interesting experience. The entire relocation process took about two months.

“The company booked us a hotel room for a week so we could find and rent an apartment”

Several days after, we found an ad on Onliner.by for a one-bedroom apartment on Pobediteley Avenue. There was a nice park close by. But then we moved to Nemiga Street, a two-bedroom apartment this time. This housing is quite expensive by Minsk standards. But the local rent rates are still around 20% lower compared to the Russian capital.

Minsk is close to European cities, you can get there quickly—and it’s an interesting feeling. We’ve flown from here to Prague already, planning on driving to Vilnius.

Upsides
I like Minsk coffee shops better than those in Moscow.

Downsides
The new transport vehicles aren’t bad, but the transportation is organized worse than in Moscow. Walking might take less time than taking the bus.